Food & Drink | DESSERT WATCH

This fall's family restaurant desserts are more than they ap-pear

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing Writer

New dessert shops come and go all the time, with trends often dictating how long they last. So let’s take a second to appreciate the family restaurant, always around and serving up solid after-dinner favorites. Here are some of the highlights of the fall.

Denny’s is going all-in on pear this season. Its “Western-style pear dessert” lineup offers a nice heap of the fruit in each dish. The pear sundae (pictured; ¥916) and pear parfait (¥538) look the most dazzling and pack the greatest range of flavors into one dish. But don’t write off the simpler offerings, like the pear sorbet (¥214) and pear jelly (¥376).

Royal Host, meanwhile, merges ever-trendy hōjicha with chestnut. The toasty taste of both works well as a pairing, though the restaurant might have gone a bit overboard on the brulee parfait (¥950), which is just too sweet.

Can’t decide between the two? Jonathan’s provides a useful third option, by bringing pears and chestnuts together for a limited series of desserts. On the menu is a classic chestnut and fresh pear parfait (¥799) and an over-the-top sugar bomb in the form of a sundae with a blob of pumpkin pudding thrown in (¥649). But the winner is the restaurant’s Danish pastry (¥699), which keeps things on the right side of simple.